'He never answered our calls' – Becchio opens up on Leeds exit & why dramatic return collapsed
Luciano Becchio spent almost five years at Leeds United but he maintains that he never wanted to leave the club and would have been happy to spend the rest of his career at Elland Road.
In the end, he moved to Premier League side Norwich in 2013 after scoring 86 goals in 219 games.
He put in a transfer request but, in an interview on the Athletic, claimed this was because the club told him to.
Becchio also opened up on a dramatic opening to return to Leeds that ultimately came to nothing after Massimo Cellino refused to take his calls.
“I never wanted to leave Leeds,” Becchio said. “I would have liked to have finished my career there. I went several times to meet with Leeds and tried to stay. I did my best but I saw no effort.
“I called Warnock to meet him and see what could be done. We met but I didn’t get much of a response from him.
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“I honestly don’t know if it was the coach’s wish for me to leave or if the club wanted to cash in on me. In the end, my family and I made a super-difficult decision.
“As I said before, I’d have liked to have finished my career at Leeds but I felt compelled to leave. Of course I was very sorry but I had no choice. The club told me to request a transfer in order to leave.”
Things didn’t work out for Becchio at Norwich and he didn’t score there over 16 appearances.
A move to Rotherham transpired but just before that happened a dramatic return to Leeds seemed on the cards.
“A day before signing for Rotherham, Massimo Cellino phoned my representative to ask me to return to Leeds. We arranged that the next morning he would call me to come and sign.
“That call never happened and after that he never answered any of our calls. So I signed for Rotherham.”
Leeds fans have still got a place in their hearts for Becchio. He was brilliant at Leeds and no one will ever forget the goal against Millwall in the 2009 play-off semi-finals.
Millwall might have equalised to go through to the final but the words, “Becchio well placed” still get the hairs on the back of the neck standing on end.
Leeds fans would have loved to see him back at Elland Road but perhaps it was for the best.
It’s hard to imagine Becchio having the same impact on his second stint at Leeds and sometimes memories are best left untouched.
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